KUALA LUMPUR: The Constitution (Amendment) 2019 Bill to lower the voting and election candidacy age to 18 and allow for automatic registration voters was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat Thursday.
The bill, tabled by Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, seeks to amend articles 47 and 119 of the Federal Constitution.
The proposed amendments will allow those who attain the age of 18 to vote as well as contest as candidates for the general election.
The amendments under Article 47 will see the words “21 years” substituted with the words “18 years” for a person to be a member of the legislative assembly.
Amendments to Article 119 involves Clause (1), in regards to the voting age.
In Clause (4), meanwhile, the words “applies for registration” will be substituted with the words “is registered” to denote automatic registration of voters of those who turn 18.
The bill is expected to be debated and passed on July 16.
This is the amended version of the bill. The government had tabled it last Thursday to amend the constitution to lower the voting age to 18, but it was withdrawn on Wednesday to allow it to be tweaked.
This followed “requests” from the opposition to also amend the minimum age for election candidacy to 18 and for automatic registration.
The opposition bloc had said it would not support the bill unless these changes were made. As any amendment to the constitution requires a two-third majority vote in the Dewan Rakyat, and Pakatan Harapan does not have the numbers to carry the vote through, it was essential that the government received the support of the opposition.